Are you asking fans and potential fans to multitask? Probably.
Is that hampering your ability to grow and leverage a fanbase? Definitely.
If you’re trying to build an audience for something these days the chances are that you’re making a lot of requests (or “offers” to use a gentler term) to your existing or potential fans. You ask them to watch your videos, share your social media posts, join your email list, buy tickets to your show, listen to your podcast, and god knows how many other things that will help further your career.
But what you’ve likely lost sight of in the midst of your hustle is that multitasking is a myth. In reality, people don’t take multiple actions at once, they take one single action at a time.
And that’s why I think you’ll find a lot more success – short term and long term – if you focus on a single action that you want people to take in every situation where they encounter you and your work.
What Is A “One Action” Strategy?
My definition of a One Action Strategy is that in any scenario in which people encounter your content, there is a single, specific action that you want them to take.
You may make multiple actions available for them to take (though it’s possible you’ll see better results if you limit their options), but you hone in on the single action you most want them to take and devise a strategy to increase the likelihood that they’ll do so.
You can can have different actions for different scenarios – for example, the “one action” you might want people to take after watching your videos is to subscribe to your YouTube channel, but the action you might want people to take when they see you perform live might be to join your email lists – but focusing on a single “ask” for each situation and developing a strategy designed specifically to match the single action you want people to take will drastically increase your success rate.
That’s because it simplifies the process for people, focuses your own promotional efforts, and matches the way people act – they can only do one thing at a time so why ask them to do more?
Why It Works
The biggest reason why the One Action Strategy works is because it simplifies things for both the audience and yourself.
Your audience won’t get lost in a multitude of asks and you’ll essentially make it easier for them to support you. Also, they won’t feel assaulted with asks (Share my video! Retweet it! Subscribe! Watch another!), which will make them more likely to actually do the one thing you ask them to do.
Also, the mere process of forcing yourself to choose only a single action to ask people to take will lead you to really think through what actions will be most valuable to you. This essentially forces you to act more strategically and protects you from yourself – you’re no longer just throwing stuff at the wall and hoping something sticks. It’s a way to force yourself into setting a clear goal and messaging that goal.
That leads to the other reason why this strategy works – it gives you a clear and simple way to measure success. Once you focus on a single action that you want people to take it becomes very easy to measure the success of both your content and your calls to action.
And as I’ve said before, you can’t improve anything you can’t measure.
How To Choose The Right Action For The Right Situation
Ready to give this One Action Strategy a chance? There’s three things you’ll need to think through in order to figure out what actions you want to ask people to take.
First, you have to know your goals. There’s lots of different actions people can take after seeing your content and all of them provide different kinds of value. So the first thing you want to take is think through your personal goals and then let those guide the actions you want people to take.
For example, if you posted a video of yourself performing standup on YouTube there’s a few different ways you might want to go. If your goal was to get more people to come to your shows, then the action you might want people who watch the video to take could be to email you and get on your guest list. But if your goal is to build a bigger following for your YouTube channel because you plan to post a lot more videos, then the action you might want to encourage could be subscribing to your channel or sharing the video.
There’s no right or wrong action to focus on, it all depends on your goals. You just want to make sure that the action you choose to emphasize will actually benefit the goals you’re pursuing.
The second step to figure out what One Action to emphasize is to understand the value of the action you want people to take.
Not all actions provide the same level of value. For example, somebody buying tickets to your show might be more valuable than them following you on Twitter. But them following you on Twitter might be more valuable than them watching a single video.
The specific values depend on your goals, but you need to recognize that not all actions have equal value and (generally speaking) the more valuable the action is, the tougher it is to get people to take it. So part of what you’ll want to think through when determining what actions you’re going to try to drive is to weigh the relative value of each.
Would you rather sell 10 albums or get 100 people to sign up to your email list? Would you rather somebody subscribe to your podcast or your YouTube channel? Would you rather they tell their friends they saw you perform on Twitter or would you rather they come to your next show?
These relative values will be different based on your individual situation, but it’s worth thinking about them as you decide what actions to emphasize.
The third thing to consider when planning your One Action Strategy is to keep in mind how the medium works where your content lives and to recognize what assets are available to you.
Different mediums (both online and offline) have their own unique strengths and weaknesses that you’ll want to take into account when figuring out what actions you’re going to ask for from your audience.
For example, it might be easier to get people to join your email list after reading something on your blog than it is after they read something on your Facebook page because you can put the signup form right at the bottom of the post. On the flip side, it might be easier for people engaging with your posts on Facebook to tag their friends in the comments than it is for them to share a blog post on your website with them.
YouTube’s annotations make it very easy to get people to subscribe to your channel or drive them to another video you’ve created so that might make you decide to focus your action around those things as opposed to trying to drive Twitter followers from your YouTube videos.
This is not to say that you can only do things that occur naturally in the medium you’re using, but rather that you should be aware of what is “easier” to do on various platforms when plotting your strategy.
And Now, The One Action I Want You To Take…
Since this is a post all about asking your audience to take a single action I figured I should follow my own advice and ask you to do a single thing if you found it helpful. So here’s the action I want you to take – give the One Action Strategy a try with at least one thing that you do regularly (social media posts, videos, live performances, whatever) over the course of the next month and email me to let me know how it works for you.
If you don’t see improved results, I’ll be happy to give you some more tips geared toward your specific goals.